Brittany Spaniel Breed Information
Alternative names -
Country of origin - France
Classification and breed standards
FCI:|Group 7 Section 1.2 #95|Stds
ANKC:|Group 3 (Gundogs)|Stds
CKC:|Group 1 - Sporting Dogs|Stds
The Brittany is a breed of gun dog primarily bred for bird hunting. Although the Brittany is often referred to as a spaniel, the breed's working characteristics are more akin to a pointer or setter. Brittanys were developed in the Brittany province of France in the 1800s.
A Brittany is typically quite athletic, compact, and solidly built without being heavy. Other characteristics include long legs, and their expressions are usually of intelligence, vigour, and alertness. Their gait is elastic, long, and free.
Some Brittanys are born with naturally short tails and others with long tails. If born with a long tail it is normally docked to a length of 3 to 10 centimetres (1 to 4 inches). In countries where docking is illegal long-tailed Brittanys should carry their tails level with the back or slightly lower.
1. 1. Size
Brittany Spaniels are almost always between 44-52 cm (17.5-20.5 in) tall at the withers, with the UKC and AKC preferring smaller dogs. They weigh 13.5-18 kg (30-40 lb). The dog is squareish when viewed from the side, with shoulder height equaling body length (from withers to base of tail). Show dogs have their tails docked in some countries. The tails of working or companion dogs are rarely left long.
1. 2. Types
Many breeders differentiate between "American" Brittanys and "French" style Brittanys. Although generally recognized as sub-sets of the same breed, there are recognizable differences between the two. The American Brittany is taller and faster. It has been bred to cover more ground in order to hunt wide open spaces common in the United States. The French Brittany appears more "spaniel-like" in that it is smaller and the French Brittany generally works more closely to the guns.
The breed is noted for being easy to train, sensitive, and sweet-natured. Many enthusiasts agree that it takes little more than a stern look or cross word to chastise a Brittany. As a consequence, care must be taken during training so as not to break the dog's spirit. Brittanys are excellent with children but they are an exuberant breed and if not well supervised may accidentally harm a small child. Many of these loveable dogs will, if allowed, even climb upon your lap and rest their head on your shoulder. Brittanys get along well with other dogs and enjoy working with other dogs as a team. Many Brittany enthusiasts encourage new Brittany owners to be a two dog family. The dogs are active and require frequent exercise and room to run. As pets Brittanys are first-rate companion dogs but they do need plenty of exercise. Their outgoing nature makes them poor candidates for protectors.
The Brittany makes a good house pet as long as it receives daily mental and physical exercise. If not given sufficient exercise, it can become destructive.
Brittanies are generally healthy dogs, though some genetic disorders are prevalent. They can be prone to hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Their ears can be prone to infections. They usually live 14-15 years.
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